Researchers Say They May Have Found the Cause of SIDS and Other Sudden Death Syndromes - D-brief
What’s so troubling about SIDS is that no one really understands why a seemingly healthy baby goes to sleep and never wakes up. But a new review paper suggests that SIDS and other forms of sudden death syndromes — which impact people of all ages and seem to strike without warning or cause — may share a common, neurological cause.
Some individuals may be prone to sudden death syndromes because they are born with a neurological difference that can be fatal under the right circumstances, explains Gordon Buchanan, a neurologist and epileptologist at the University of Iowa who authored a review paper in Trends in Neurosciences. Among these people, there seems to be a problem with the part of the brain that controls breathing and waking during sleep.
In sudden death cases, it’s thought that the individuals’ airways get blocked somehow while sleeping in bed — such as by a pillow, a toy or tangled bedding. But it wasn’t clear why the person doesn’t simply wake up and fix the problem by repositioning themselves or by crying out for help.